Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 5

The Lord who breaks out

2 Samuel 5:20-21

At the first battle of Rephaim, Israel’s army defeated Philistia’s army in an impressive manner. David wanted Israel’s people to remember how they won that battle. So, he gave a new name to the place of the battle: Baal Perazim. It means, ‘the Lord who breaks out’.

At a later period is Israel’s history, the religion of a false god called Baal became popular. That religion with its evil practices, brought great shame upon Israel. However, David was not referring to that religion; for him, the word Baal was simply another name for the real God. The word means a lord, a master, an owner or a powerful ruler. David was emphasising how powerfully God had acted.

God acted very suddenly against the enemy. He ‘broke out’, like a sudden flood of water breaks through anything in its way. Philistia’s soldiers brought idols, images of their false gods, with them for good luck. The real God acted against them so suddenly that they had no time even to pick up their idols. Instead, they had to run for their lives. After the battle, David’s soldiers collected those idols and destroyed them (1 Chronicles 14:12). Those false gods had no power to protect anyone when the true God ‘broke out’ against them.

God was doing something new and wonderful in Israel. Through the whole of Saul’s rule there had been constant battles between Philistia and Israel. However, God was making Israel into a strong nation, and the time of war would soon end.

Next part: Listen for the sound of God's army (2 Samuel 5:22-25)


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